Today, BMW said it will raise the prices of the X5 and X6 models made for China to cope with the additional cost of tariffs on U.S. car import. BMW said in a statement to Reuters over the weekend that it will increase maker-suggested retail prices of the popular, relatively high-margin X5 and X6 SUV models by 4 percent to 7 percent.
“X5 and X6 MSRP in China will increase from between 4 percent to 7 percent depending on the variant,” a BMW spokesperson confirmed to The Drive via email. “This takes effect Monday, July 30th in China.”
A total of 32 percent of all BMWs manufactured in the U.S. are exported to China, making it the largest volume export recipient in the world for the automaker. Earlier this year, China decreased tariffs for imported vehicles from 25 percent to 15 percent. But due to the “trade war” with the U.S., the Chinese government has slapped a record breaking 40 percent duty fee on vehicles imported.
The rates of increase suggest that BMW is willing to absorb much of the higher costs stemming from bringing the SUVs to China from its factory in South Carolina, underscoring the fierce competition among luxury car brands in China.
“BMW stands for free (trade) but can’t stand still without taking actions to respond to the market changes,” a BMW spokeswoman said in an email message to Reuters.
BMW imports X4, X5 and X6 crossover SUV models from the United States for sale in China where demand for SUVs has been booming. Last year, the German automaker shipped more than 100,000 vehicles from the United States to China.